Sharks are commonly known as the big scary fish with the big scary teeth but here are some facts that you may not have known:
- Sharks can not swim backwards or stop swimming for a long period of time because they will stop breating if water stops flowing across their gills.
- Some Great White sharks have been known to hunt their prey from directly below by swimming straight up to the surface of the water with so much speed that they launch themselves out of the water after grabbing their prey.
- If a shark is turned upside down, it enters a state of tonic immobility where it becomes seemingly paralyzed (temporarily).
- There are over 400 species of sharks including Great White, Hammerhead, Zebra, Tiger, Lemon, Nurse, Goblin, Blue, Whale, Blacktip, Whitetip and many more!
- Sharks' razor-sharp teeth fall out regularly but are constantly replaced with backups.
- Baby sharks are called pups.
- Sharks are closely related to stingrays.
- It's debated that in the age of the dinosaurs, there was a shark that measured almost 60 feet called the Megalodon. But make no mistake, sharks have been around for millions of years!
Go See A Shark!
Start by driving to your local fish market and picking up a couple of your favorite fish. After that, drive out to the closest ocean and then swim out, fish in hand, as far as you possibly can… just kidding! Playing with sharks is a baaad idea. Looking at sharks on the other hand, is not. A great way to introduce your son or daughter to these predators of the sea is by taking them to the aquarium. You'll be able to show them several other fish that we've highlighted in other letters as well like goldfish, flying fish, and jellyfish!
Play Sharky Games!
If you have a pool at your house or one that you visit regularly, you can play a game of Sharko Polo with your child! Sharko Polo is a simple variation of Marco Polo where the person that's "it" has to hold their hands together over their head, like a shark fin, when they are swimming after the people they are trying to tag. Feel free to replace the "Fish out of water" rule with a "Shark/Pup out of water" rule.
If you would prefer a simpler activity or craft, you can visit sharks4kids.com for your child to make their own shark or to complete some word searches, crosswords, or colorings all related to sharks!
See Sharks…on Ice Skates?!
Last but not least, if you're ever in San Jose and happen to be a hockey fan, you can buy some tickets to a Sharks game. When the players come down the tunnel and onto the ice through the GIANT shark head, you can talk to your little one about how huge the Megalodon was (up to about 60 feet!), back in the time of the dinosaurs.
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